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Big Foots DIUK Report 2008 - And so they keep coming

 
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Big Foot




Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 185
Location: Hertfordshire

PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:20 pm    Post subject: Big Foots DIUK Report 2008 - And so they keep coming Reply with quote

Apologies for the length of this report but I'm sure you understand why and also for the the style as its written so that even the non triathlon fanatics get a feel for it. Great to meet so many nutters last weekend and enjoyed your race reports.

Rodís Double Iron UK Triathlon 2008 Race Report

A Double ironman race distance involves a 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike and 52.4 mile run in this case with a cut off time of 40 hours. I first became aware of the race in autumn last year and was disappointed to find the race full and signed up for Ironman France instead, though luckily 24 more places were released and I jumped at the chance although did not fully comprehend the magnitude of this challenge at that time. Just to be on the start list felt an honour as there were lots of top names and this was the first one in the UK.

Getting There

Having no idea how to train for event like that I combed the web, looked for books on the subject but all I found was one article which although interesting to read provided nothing to base a plan on. In the end I decided to train up to Ironman distance because thatís what I knew having completed 9 of these over the last few years, throw in a couple of longer distance sessions and be prepared to take it at a slightly easier pace on the day. Panic started to set in early in the year when browsing the race forum as some of the training runs and bikes noted by some where huge and greater than Iíd ever completed and that was 4 months out from the event.

Training progressed steadily although it was not until mid April that I managed to get more than 10 hours training in any one week even thought my wife provided huge support and encouragement and is destined to be an IM later this year. Little mishaps such as 3 bike crashes, pulling my back prevented me from doing the Wendover off road marathon with 2 months of physio to sort the problem and several colds did not help. I did though get to the Ironman France start line in June and completed the race although 2 punctures knocked the time out. Had a good race at the Cowman Half IM in July although a puncture marred a good performance. Although eventful in the journey I did get to the double start relatively injury free all be it under trained.

The Plan

My race strategy was simple, I was relatively confident that the 4.8 mile pool swim, thats 304 lengths of the 25meter pool, would pose no problem as long as it was taken steady. I decided to use a wetsuit as it would make me slightly faster with the only risk being overheating but on the other hand it could be taken off. The bike was to be taken steady to protect my knee injury and I had a detailed timing, food and hydration plan. The run, well just survive and be prepared to walk the whole lot if necessary ie wing it. I made a deliberate decision to go unsupported as a far as I was concerned as it would be game over if I slept and having no tent or sleeping arrangements this would stop any cop out.

Race Day

Race morning saw my alarm go off at 3:30am, crawled down to the restaurant to force down some breakfast, nodded to some fellow competitors who looked far too wide awake. Drove up to the Lichfield leisure centre, racked bike and double checked my kit. Did not have any pre race nerves but was rather keen to get going, some other on the other hand were a bag of neves. Met the other competitors in my lane pool side and they pushed me into taking the swim lead for the 6:00am start. Felt very comfortable swimming in the wetsuit and definitely making good speed but annoyed the others as they had to let me pass frequently. Time seemed to go by quite quickly unlike when you are training but it was good to finish and I was very surprised to be 5th out the water. Took ages in T1 but comfort on the bike is everything and I wanted my best cycle kit rather than a tri suit.

The Bike Bit

The bike, 16 laps of 14 miles on an out and back course. Iím most comfortable on the bike and soon settled into a steady pace. A bit overcast and a bit of a headwind on the way back to start with but over all a relatively straight forward bike and no need to use the easy gears on the hill. Over the first half of the bike I managed to claw back 4 places although lost one to Arthur Puckrin the long distance legend but was sensible and didnít give chase as my knee injury started to come to the fore. Lap on lap the headwind started to increase and became quite draining with several riders looking decidedly uncomfortable tackling it. By half way my detailed food strategy was out the window as the energy bars Iíd used in training okay became inedible and I ended up doing the whole bike leg on bananas, gels and the High 5 drink. It started to get dark on my 15th lap and by the 16th I was on full lights which turned out to by quite useless as they could not highlight the road surface properly at the speed I was doing. Relieved I finished the bike at 11:10pm on schedule which was just as well as I could not take any more of sitting on that saddle and 3rd off the bike. For one who is never in the leading group in a triathlon it was a great ego boost even though it was just wave 1. The race winner, Hywel Davies came in 2 minutes after meÖÖ.. but he was in swim wave 2 which was 4 hours behind mine!; a truly awesome performance.

Changed into my trisuit, running kit and donning head light I set off on the run and felt great as so far things had gone really well and for once this year no punctures on the bike. Met Rob who was 4 laps ahead of me and we ran the first one together. The run was 42 laps of 1.2 miles each. They started with an incline up from the leisure centre before crossing a road, going up some tricky quad busting steps into a wooded area which had all foot obstacles marked with luminous orange paint and luminous run sign providing an weird surreal appearance when picked up by my head torch. One athlete described it as very Blair Witchy. The wooded path went on for about third of a mile before the turn around. The return leg started with a third of a mile climb on pavements into the wind before descending back to the end of lap turn around. I ran the first 5 laps but then adopted a strategy of walking the ups and running the flats and downs.

My first marathon was completed in the dark with each lap being very consistent. At the end of each lap I stopped at the support stand rotating between high5, gels and water or jelly babies and water. The guys on the support stand were brilliant and soon sussed out what I wanted each time. There were very few out on the course in those early hours and I was always looking forward to chatting to those on the support table.

My second marathon started in the same vain as my first and I was lapping consistently but a third of the way through my knees started to get really painful, so much so that I was reduced to walking the next 4 laps to ease the pressure on them. I do though remember starting to fall asleep on my feet whilst walking but on returning to the centre hit the Red Bull and some solid food and was soon back to my original walk run strategy. Dawn came and by this time there were a lot more runners as wave 2 had all finished the bike and it was good to talk to some new faces. The laps dragged by but on hitting 5 to go it really hit home that I was going to be a double ironman. I tried to up the pace for the last few meters leading to the finish while high fiving the supporters but in the end it was probably a jog. Delighted I crossed the line and inside my stretch time by over an hour and second back in from my start wave.


My finish time was 28 hours 43 mins and far exceeded my expectations and even my optimistic race plan.

Swim Plan 2:50 Actual 2:37 Placing 12th
Bike Plan 14:00 Actual 14:25 Placing 13th
Run Plan 12:00 Actual 11:40 Placing 15th

Overall Plan 29:00 Actual 28:43 Placing 16th

* Bike includes T1 and the wind factor didnít help.

I big thank you is needed to Stevie, Eddie and the rest of the events team for not only a well organised event but all their enthusiastic support. Not forgetting the supporters themselves who were brilliant always there even in the dead of night and very vocal. All in all a great weekend and one that will never be forgotten.

Will I do another one again, well never say never but Iím sure Iím going to be a happy bunny for quite some time. Rod
[img][/img][img][/img]
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repoman




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great work Big Foot, these reports are so inspiring.

Congratulations on your finish, beating your estimated time and a PB!
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Toyota_Crown




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Chewie. Lets have a Wookie Roar !!!!!!! Very Happy

Sub 29, 16th, and beat your estimate - way to go m8, you are rightly proud of an awesome acheivement. Example to others.

Cool Cool Cool
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Joycey




Joined: 30 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They keep coming .......... and I keep reading them Very Happy

Congratulations on the finish and in a great time Cool
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putt putt




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well done! great effort. must have seen you there (several times!!) - pic?
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savaloy




Joined: 29 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep 'em coming I say- another fantastic achievement and unsupported Confused Shocked Lovin' your avatar by the way Big Foot
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Sue




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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey that wasnt a long report
--and your entitled since youve achieved something very special
--a DIM and the 1st DIMUK
cant do any better than that. And inside your predicted time. Very well done
--and you'd do another Shocked you must still be in shock Wink
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Badger
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent - can't believe how easy you make it sound!

Great report, hope you're still resting

B Cool
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Big Foot




Joined: 25 Jun 2007
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Location: Hertfordshire

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Badger wrote:
Excellent - can't believe how easy you make it sound!

Great report, hope you're still resting

B Cool


That was the original plan but as you know things do not always go to plan so I've signed up for The Big Woody next weekend.

Rod
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2013 Lands End, London, Dover (1st)
2014 C to C, Enduroman 100, Ridgeway Challenge (86m)
2015 C to C, St Peters Way Ultra, Immortal Full, St Albans Stampede (12hr).
2016 C to C, ONER, Enduroman 100, ????
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